The Migrant and the Lost Identity
Merely a week had passed since I had settled in the USA
Apart from monetary gains and a better future
There was no apparent reason in leaving India
And yet, I had moved to this godforsaken place
An unknown land, an eccentric social culture
Queer people and a yet stranger and artificial language
It was as if I walked a lonely road in an alien world
The anonymity was getting on my nerves
I wanted something, in fact anything, from India
Yearned to talk with one of my own folks, my people
People who spoke in Hindi, and were Hindustani
And then, I saw her, she was out for an evening stroll,
Wearing a sari, bindi on forehead, and loads of bangles!
She was a desi girl, I fist pumped the air in joy,
At last I had found someone who was a stranger too in
This world but far more than a friend to me.
I walked faster, towards her, elated and revived
I just wanted to talk to her, hours at a stretch in my tongue
She saw me muttering to myself and smiled.
And said, “Ditcha sey sumthin? Din catch you am fraid”
I stood rooted to the spot. She was an Indian, damn it!
She understood, and said in a nonchalant way.
“Ah, I guess you laughin at my clothing, eh cheeky toad?
It’s my mom, makes me wear this rubbish, its Indian.
Pretty embarrassing and uhmmm not fashionable uh?
Its ohk buddy, am used to it. See ya, take care”
She was an Indian, or at least her parents were
But her heart beat for this foreign place, America
I walked back to my house, depressed and gloomy.
Migrants tend to lose their identity
It’s the only thing that distinguishes them from others
Yet they overlook it and hero-worship their new country
By changing themselves, they become a stain
A stain upon the splendor and grandeur of their motherland
Me? I wouldn’t let this happen to me! Betcha!
By Kaartikeya Bajpai
© Copyright 2016 Kaartikeya Bajpai. All rights reserved.